THE Fira de Ram (the annual Easter Fair) will be up and running at the Son Fuster showground today as of 5pm although the event's official opening is not scheduled until Thursday, 13th March.

On this occasion though, visitors will notice something distinctly different - and better. As well as no less than 170 different attractions, installations have been significantly upgraded with asphalt surfacing so that on days when there's rain, the public won't have their feet sink in the mud; ample parking for both the able-bodied and handicapped; an information centre; Red Cross and security stations (there will be at least four officers on all-night watch when the fair is running); clean and comfortable toilet facilities with different compartments for men and women - showers included.

Work to get the fair ready this year has been running at full pace with operatives putting the final touches to the rides and stalls yesterday. Delays were caused this year by the fact that local authorities did not give permission for the event to officially open on 1st March as is traditional. The fair has been held in Palma for no less than 99 years but this is the first time it has been held at Son Fuster. The fair has been allocated a total area of 107'000 square metres to accommodate all its principal attractions, facilities and parking.